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Posts Tagged ‘hotel management software’

The dawn of the 80’s saw the rise of videos and the slow demise of the radio, which led to one of the greatest hits of that era, “Video killed the radio star”, by the Buggles. The song doesn’t welcome the change that motion pictures brought into the entertainment industry and is, in a sense, a sort of farewell to the radio, that was present in every home at the time. However, the takeaway from this is that some 30 years later, today, video has become the most popular medium of entertainment and information.

A decade ago, Hotelogix set out on mission to revamp the way the hospitality industry used technology. Hotelogix was born on the cloud as a purpose-built system, aimed at assisting hoteliers conquer this ever-changing hospitality landscape. As we’ve seen over the last decade, the rivalry that was created between the on-premise systems and Hotelogix cloud has been a major topic of discussion. Most frequently, the debate ends in a deadlock which translates to a difference in opinion and a matter of an individual’s perception.

To avoid falling into this monotonous tone of comparison and barely doing justice to the article, I’ll attempt to illustrate the real power of Hotelogix.

What sets Hotelogix apart from other PMS systems is the seamless flow of data. Cloud enables collecting data from multiple sources in real-time, giving you the ability to analyse this data in the moment. Let me start by showcasing the power of a cloud system and then tie it to how Hotelogix shows its strength.

Speed boat racing, as a sport, takes place simultaneously in several different geographic locations and involves broadcasting data to the team, with a video feed for the spectators. Add to that, the commentary required for broadcasting the event on television. The cloud funnels upwards of a 100 contrasting datasets at once, for analytical purposes.

Now, Hotelogix is built on primarily the same platform we are talking about here. Think of it as a machine that’s constantly pulling in and interpreting data, tirelessly. The data could be from your channel manager, POS outlets, website and any other systems that your PMS may be connected to. Hotelogix has around 200K system users currently and this single platform supports all of these users without breaking a sweat. This not only speaks about the storage capabilities but the quality of engineering that goes into building a system like Hotelogix.

Hotelogix supports an average of 16K concurrent users, at any given time. These 16k users suffer no loss of performance with a desktop application-like experience. An on-premise PMS was not built to cater to more than 50 concurrent users.
So, no, it hasn’t been built keeping in mind smaller hotels or properties. In fact, it is an enterprise-grade system, built to withstand much more than what we are handing out to it. But that’s not to say that smaller hotels and accommodations cannot run their daily operations on it, or use it as a part of their expansion strategy.

Another facet of Hotelogix cloud PMS is its ability to access data in real time. Take a look at on-premise systems and you’ll see that they enable the access of data in batches and barely close to real-time.

Now, you might wonder how a cloud system is capable of achieving such feats? The answer is that the cloud replicates data. And how does that help? Well, Hotelogix system is constantly pushing data back and forth from the cloud and also simultaneously saving this data in several locations. What this translates to is that, irrespective of hardware maintenance or software upgrades, Hotelogix’s systems don’t see any downtime. This lets us boast of an uptime of 99.98%. What’s more is that even if any of the data centres should collapse or cease functioning, your data will still remain safe. That’s definitely something an on-premise system can’t boast of.

Hotelogix backs up data on a daily basis and depending on the number of customers, more than 1600 backups take place every single day. Even with the most effective IT environments within hotels, you will see that the data is only backed up once a month.

Here’s something I’ve been told a lot about cloud systems – that they’re just not safe enough. Well, I beg to differ. And no, my opinion doesn’t emerge from the fact that I work with Hotelogix. I have research backing me up. It is true that an on-premise system gives the user more control when it comes to the security measures being set up. Any mishaps that happen will probably land the hotel’s IT team in a soup.

Hotelogix, however, has a different approach towards security. Unlike the on-premise system, it is not a reactionary one. Let me elaborate. Unlike most systems that focus their security measures on the entry points, cloud focuses on the overall application. This is possible due to the visibility that cloud enables on every level, which ensures that the IT manager can view exactly who is accessing the data, at what time and the purpose of doing so. Thereby, regulating access based on the role of the personnel. What’s more is that one can also analyse patterns of attackers and provide more proactive measures to reduce instances of data phishing and phone fraud. Overall, it acts as a deterrent for attackers.

Another home run for Hotelogix is the possibility of integrations. Think of it as a custom-built ecosystem, tailor-made for a hotel. Be it the budget that’s the decisive factor or the features that you are looking for, you can design the ecosystem based on your priorities. Application Programming Interface or API, as we call it, is what enables the cloud to be so versatile. Take an on-premise system, for example. The features and applications have to be built into the system and is not an add-on that will make life simple. Now, the downside to this is that you pay for a bundle of features, which may or may not be of use to you. Hotelogix, on the other hand, integrates with leaders in the space– For example, a finance tool, a booking engine, a reputation manager and the likes. So not only do you pay for what you choose but also integrate with best tech that will definitely give you an edge over the competition.

Hotelogix uniquely offers APIs for hotel brands to develop their own apps and this has led to the development of an ecosystem around the PMS. Hotelogix receives more than 3 million API calls/day. It gives rise to the possibility of mobile apps centered around the staff-facing aspect in order to smoothen operations. It also enables hotels to plug in Hotelogix into your existing MIS system, exchanging feeds in real time, for brands to take strategic decisions with agility. On-premise systems are built on platforms that are not capable of such feats.

10 years in the game and we’ve watched the landscape change drastically. The interesting thing is that even the on-premise players have started to build their own cloud platforms. I’ll leave it to you on what to decipher out of this, but to me, it seems like the cloud has cemented itself as the future of hospitality technology.

In these 10 years that we’ve been in this space, we’ve seen the market evolve and change immensely. Watched the millennials become a major customer to hotels and have seen the struggles that hoteliers have faced trying to adopt to this new category of customers. Just like video killed the radio star, the cloud will replace these on-premise systems in time. Hotelogix has evolved into this machine that is capable of computing on an enterprise level. We are one system functioning across a 100+ countries, with more than 1600 customers and over 200K system users. 16K concurrent users on the platform and still providing a desktop application like experience with zero down time. Hotelogix has evolved into a stellar product that comes at a great price, without compromising on the quality of the features that it provides.

What’s interesting is the road that lies ahead of us. An ecosystem built for hotels with tools integrated into it, that will make managing hotel operations a breeze. Customizations, based on needs and scalable as per the times to come. We aren’t here to  fix something that’s broken, just around to make things better.

This article was originally published on Hotelogix Blog.

 

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A hotel management system or a property management system (PMS) is the most essential software used to run a hotel’s property. The tourism industry is booming and the world is shrinking with the Internet and technology taking over our lives. Travelers across the world are widely connected to their devices to look up for the best hotels for their family trip, corporate bookings, group travels, and more. Hoteliers of independent properties, mid-sized hotels, Bed and Breakfast or chain of hotels need to embrace the shift to online hotel management system. Technology plays a key role in one of the most important factors for the hospitality industry – guest satisfaction.

A streamlined management for a hotel ensures excellent service which in turn ensures happier guests and more customers. How does a web-based hotel management system help hoteliers to achieve this? How can a property management system increase revenue?  Let’s take a look.

What is a Hotel Management System? Why do I need one for my hotel?

Hotel management systems that run on the cloud are fast-evolving in the technology-driven world. These cloud-based hotel management systems are quick and easy to install, use, and lend a whole new dimension to the way hotel properties are run on a daily basis.

This is a software system that includes a host of functions to assist hoteliers. An online hotel management system is a must for every kind of hotelier, irrespective of the property they run. All it requires is a computer with a stable Internet connection.

How easy is it to implement a hotel management system?

As complicated as it may sound, this is fairly easy-to-use software that does not require lengthy training sessions with your hotel’s staff. This can be easily installed on multiple systems (depending upon the solution provider) and allows hoteliers to automate multiple tasks within no time. A smart hotel management system will be easy to plug into your existing infrastructure, without the need to maintain a support team or requirement for other investments. You, as a hotelier, would want your cloud-based system to be accessible to all without any added overheads. A hotel management system should also be able to connect to your website and facilitate direct bookings for hoteliers.

What should I look for in a Hotel Management System?

Property Management:

A hotel management system is useful to run the hotel’s property to manage the room rates, room availability, hotel reservations (check-in and check-out), guest history, billing, city ledgers and more.

Customer Relationship Management:

Cloud-based hotel management systems must be able to store customer data for your future use. Information such as preferred room numbers or favorite cuisine will help improve your guest service by preparing for a guest’s arrival well in advance. Hotel management systems help to improve guest communication and maximize the hotel reviews online.

3rd Party Integrations:

A simple installation of a hotel management system with 3rd party integrations such as Channel Managers, Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Snapshot, TripAdvisor connects and more are required to manage a hotel’s operations and sales.

In-Depth Reports

Hoteliers can easily save time using the flexible reporting system that comes with hotel management systems. It’s easy to export data directly and use integrated business tools to manage and use data appropriately. Hotel owners and managers can easily forecast trends and plan budgets according to the generation of reports.

There are various benefits of using a hotel management system. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.

Features of a Hotel Management System

Hoteliers can benefit from the features of a hotel management system in many ways.

Automates Operations

Whether you need to store guest details, book reservations, assign tasks, manage multiple Point of Sale (POS) systems and more – your hotel management system must be able to automate tasks. This saves time for busy hoteliers. Compare this to manual updates in the ledgers with constant reminders required for team members? That’s a thing of the past.

Ease-of-Use

Everyone on your hotel’s staff must be able to use the hotel management system with great ease. The software must have a clean interface with the simple task of streamlining your hotel’s operations without additional hassles. It should be easy and intuitive which lets a hotel’s staff learn at his/her own pace.

3rd Party Integration

As mentioned earlier, the PMS must integrate with various channel managers, review sites, booking platforms, accounting software, and more. For e.g. a channel manager will help you update room inventory and manage booking across all OTAs in real-time. This saves time spent on updating room inventory and rates manually on each OTA platform.

Strong Performance and Support

The chosen hotel management system must be adequately tested and reliable to use. The solution provider must have a strong support team to sort out your queries. You need the latest in technology to manage your hotel’s operations and the chosen vendor must be reliable and reputed in the market and should offer free upgrades.

Scalability and Pricing

The hotel management system must be beneficial to every kind of hotelier. You might be an owner of a small property with aims to scale up in the coming year. Does your hotel management system expand to meet your needs? Flexibility is the key as your cloud-based software model must be designed to accommodate growth of a hotel’s bookings or addition of another property. Property management systems that come with a flexible pricing model are best suited for hoteliers. Cost is one of the major deciding factors and a monthly service that expands as per requirement and allows unlimited users is best suited for hoteliers.

Data Security and Payment Gateway

Customers looking to book directly on a hotel’s website are most concerned about the security of payment. It’s essential to install a hotel management system that includes secure card payment options. The software must offer a choice of integrated payment gateways.

Other Features

Your cloud-based property management system must be flexible to use for any kind of hotel property. It should be customizable and must be able to adapt to the rapid changes in the hotel industry.  The chosen model must be able to help hoteliers manage multiple Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) as well integrate with the hotel’s own website. Access to multiple users for no additional charges is a very important feature. A currency convertor, multi-language support, unlimited POS for no extra charge must also be included in your hotel management system.

Mobile App

The chosen cloud-based hotel management system must be available as a mobile application to facilitate a hotel’s operations. With the availability of multiple terminals for various staff members, hoteliers as well as team members will find it easy to monitor operations while on the go. Hoteliers can access data in real-time, perform actions, download reports and do much more on a Smartphone.

Have you upgraded to an online hotel management system? Do let us know our feedback.

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Management is an integral part of any industry and hospitality is no exception. A large part of this process used to be carried out manually, or using outdated methods that involve spreadsheets. This was time-consuming and errors would still manage to creep through. Dedicated management systems were hard to come by, and most of them were developed by the large hotels for internal use.

The emergence of cloud based hotel management software opened up a whole new possibility for hoteliers around the world. Private companies began to pop into existence, developing sophisticated management systems that were accessible to any independent hotel. For the first time, small and mid-sized properties were able to utilize the same powerful tools that were once beyond their reach.

Property Management Systems (PMS) began to gain a reputation as a basic necessity in hospitality. There are many reasons why:

  1. Improved Efficiency –

Repetitive duties such as conducting night audits, assigning housekeeping responsibilities, managing reservations and so on could now be automated with a cloud PMS. This speeds up the various processes and it also decreases the likelihood of having to deal with human errors. Not only does this have a positive effect on the hotel’s revenue, it also reduces the load on staff, allowing them to better focus on the guests.

  1. Better Distribution –

Distribution is a vital part of a hotel’s business and with the vast magnitude of online platforms available today, hoteliers who don’t maintain a strong online presence could be missing out on these benefits. A good cloud PMS can integrate the property to a channel manager, pushing inventory across multiple OTAs. It can also connect the property to the Global Distribution System (GDS), giving the hotel much better visibility and boosting occupancy.

  1. Simplified Management –

Updating room inventory across all online platforms including OTAs has always been problematic for hotels. A cloud based hotel management software allows hotels to integrate completely to the channel manager, enabling real-time modification of room inventory across all channels when a booking is made online. 2-way XML connectivity enables the PMS to update availability when reservations are made through offline sources too.

  1. Extensive Reporting –

Collecting data from each department of the hotel can often be a laborious process. It doesn’t end there – the information needs to be analyzed, numbers need to be verified and discrepancies have to be hunted down. A good cloud PMS offers powerful reporting tools capable of compiling all the information entered into the system and generating dozens of specific, visual reports. This allows managers to spend less time gathering data and more time analyzing it.

According to recent surveys, a large number of hotels continue to use traditional methods to manage their operations. Tradition is hard to break, and owners may be hesitant to stop doing something that hasn’t caused them many problems yet. But it usually only takes a trial on the system for hoteliers to discover the unseen potential that their property has been harboring.

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Point of Sale software is a new-age technology tool which replaces the age old system of manual reporting and entry that hoteliers use to follow. This tool has provided a big relief to hoteliers by eliminating large chunk of workforce, especially from the departments that are involved in regular outflow and inflow of cash. When the POS software was launched, it received a warm welcome by the industries and now the tool is becoming widely popular in the online market world too. The credit goes to the internet revolution that has also made online bookings and reservations popular.

The POS system of the hotel management software is a great boon for hoteliers, especially restaurants and retailers who receive a significant amount of revenues from the online transactions. In such businesses, where orders happen online, it becomes tough for the staff to manually handle such large volumes sitting at the front desk or their offices thus a POS is built to target such issues. A POS eliminates the chances of errors and mistakes that often happen during transactions. Furthermore, when it comes to consolidating the records, it becomes tedious for the person handling the check-out to get the right figures. A POS normally consists of all necessary modules integrated into one system, with real-time data processing. The transaction can be of any kind, be it hotel booking, inventory related or online purchase.

Online POS software  also helps in enhancing the guest satisfaction levels. During the peak season, when hotels receive a large chunk of guests, owning to the extreme work pressure, many guests are not well taken care of. This may result in guest dissatisfaction. With the help of POS, hoteliers can keep track of their guests orders and services which directly get billed to their folios. Guest details, history and purchase patterns are maintained in the system which can later on be used for business purposes.

Guest satisfaction is given the topmost priority in the hospitality industry and the POS is strategically built to provide the best of experience to both guest and hotelier.

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Technology has changed the facet of the hotel industry and the nicest gift it has given the hoteliers is a cloud based hotel system. The software has helped hoteliers establish a brand identity in the global markets with improved services.

Hospitality industry is all about rendering guests with the best of services that ultimately leads to enhanced brand reputation. However, many hotels begin by providing quality services but gradually face a dip in their service quality. This is mainly because of hotels that still rely on manual procedures to run their operations. Manual processes lead to silly errors which are unavoidable and often put your hotel’s reputation at jeopardy. Therefore, it is important for hotels to automate their operations to avoid any bad incidents of errors.

Technology like a hotel pms streamlines crucial operations, eliminates errors, frees up staff time and above all is accessible from any remote location so one doesn’t have to be present in the property throughout. Nowadays, pms comes with customizable features for hoteliers to be more organized and efficient while rendering services. The cloud based pms is the most ideal hotel software that helps in organizing and maintaining the property and such well-maintained properties can always attract a lot of guests who prefer the A-class service.

The latest technology present in the hotel software offers features such as booking engine, front desk management, housekeeping, night audit reports etc. On the other hand, a centralized Distribution System offers Channel Management, GDS, TripConnect and more such features that help hoteliers to sell their inventories across channels and build the brand presence, globally.

The online reservation and booking feature is one of the most important features of the hotel system. The booking engine is a revenue generator for the hotel and a convenient tool for the guests who prefer to book online. Manually reserving the rooms or through traditional travel agents is a passé. Nowadays, the combination of internet and technology has made it easy for travelers to search and book hotels online and for the hoteliers to connect to more and more guests. If guests go through travel agents, they have to pay a fee to them for their services and on the other hand, hotels will have to pay commissions to the travel agents. This way both the guests and hotels end up losing their money. But if you look at technology, online reservation doesn’t require a third party involvement in making a booking. On the more, guests are given the liberty to choose their own dates, rooms and hotels while the hotels can sit back and rake in their revenues through advance bookings.

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